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Cluster munitions will be a ‘game changer’ against Russia – the Defence Minister of Ukraine

Oleksii Reznikov, the Minister of Defence of Ukraine, believes that cluster munitions announced by the US government in the new military aid package will help Ukraine liberate its territories, temporarily occupied by Russia.

Oleksii Reznikov, the Minister of Defence of Ukraine.
Photo: Simon Wohlfahrt / AFP via Getty Images

“As we got in May 2022 155-millimeter artillery systems, it became a game changer. In July, we got different types of [Multiple Launch Rocket Systems] it became [the] next game changer (…) And I hope that cluster munitions [become] a next game changer as weaponry or ammunition for liberation of our temporarily occupied territories,” said Reznikov, speaking on the sidelines of the NATO summit.

Cluster munitions drop explosive bomblets to liquidate enemy soldiers over a wide area, but unexploded munitions can also pose a long-term threat to civilians. The Minister of Defence of Ukraine specified that the use of these weapons will be limited to non-urban areas within Ukraine’s territory to target Russian occupiers. In addition, Ukraine’s partners will be informed about the use and effect of cluster weapons.

US cluster munitions.
Photo: US Army / via Reuters

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy also gave assurances that the use of cluster munitions will be controlled and stressed that Russia has been using this kind of ammunition since the start of the invasion. “This is about justice; we are defending ourselves without using the corresponding weapons on the territory of other states (…) Russia constantly uses cluster munitions on our territory, killing our people. And the help that we can get from the USA regarding the decision on cluster missiles is to be used purely for military purposes, purely on the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine,” said Zelenskyy during the joint press conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

Earlier, the US Department of Defence announced in its statement that the USA will provide Ukraine with dual-purpose improved conventional munitions (DPICM) (cluster munitions – ed.) in its new military aid package. This decision was made after “extensive consultations with US allies and partners”, as cluster munitions are banned by many countries.